t h i r t y - f i v e

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[I love you, please don't read if you have even a slight bit of mental health problems]

I love reading books with Azaan.

I know Azaan has a negative opinion on novels, I have a negative opinion on novels, but his negative plus my negative make a positive atmosphere and yes, I've gotten so much better at math but also, um, I love books. Only when Azaan reads them to me.

It's a Sunday, I see him reading a book in his study and I quickly go and search for the novel we were reading. Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak.

I get it and shout his name from our room.

When he comes in, we both sit on the floor. He sits first and I sit next to him, putting my thighs on his lap. His legs are stretched out and he fixes the pillow behind him.

I get a pillow and lie my back on it when he has flipped twenty pages.

We both start yawning after a while. He laughs and shuts the book.

"I love this. I love when we sit down on the floor and read books none of us like. And I don't know what's loveable about it."

"What do you mean books that none of us like? I'm loving the book."

He yawns again, "mhm."

"Huh, it's better than your non-fiction business books."

"You know I have a better book to read? The best book I've ever read, to be honest," he says and taps my thighs, "let me go get it."

I wonder what book he'll come with.

I sit down, resting my head on the edge of the bed.

"Right, my time to lie down," he says, seeing me sitting down.

I look at the book in his hand.

The Holy Quran.

He puts the pillow I was using aside and lies down on my thighs.

"No, Azaan, you know I'm on my period—"

"—It's okay, you're not touching it."

"I don't have the energy to go get a hijab, I've been having really bad cramps and I don't want to move—"

"You don't have to wear a hijab. You know, The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to lie on Hazrat Aisha's lap and recite the Quraan?"

I don't know what he's talking about but he seems enthusiastic and that makes me want to learn what he's talking about.

"I've always loved that thought,"

Bro, he looks cute.

"Chapter number five," he starts,

~~~

He kisses my forehead while I act asleep. I purposely lie down on his side of the bed after he gets up for Fajr.

His fragrance is there, I get forehead kisses and it's more comfortable than my side of the bed. Basically it's the best place in the whole room. Moreover, I get to glance at him through the mirror while he gets ready.

I hear him hum Ajab Si and my acting goes in vain, I get up, squealing,

"AANKHON MEIN TERI AJAB SI AJAB SI ADAAEIN HAIN! Rightt!? Azaan I'm so proud of you, how do you remember that? We watched that movie like... two months ago? Bro, I love you so much, so so so much. You're becoming a certified SRK fan."

Zehnaseeb ✓Where stories live. Discover now